30) Subtraction

Bonds of 10: Building a Wall

30.1 Subtraction Building A Wall


Develop the concept of using bonds of 10 in subtraction equations, expressed verbally.


  • subtract
  • equals
  • part-part-whole


A little easier

Build a bond wall
  • Instruct students who are having difficulty to build a bond wall of 10 using one of each block from 1 to 10 and an additional 5 block.
  • Cover this with a piece of paper.
  • Students predict the answer to the subtraction spun, then lift the paper to find the related bond and confirm/correct their answer.
  • Replace the piece of paper covering the blocks in preparation for their next turn.
Part-Part-Whole diagrams

Place part-part-whole diagrams next to students, for them to refer to, whilst completing the activity with blocks in a jumbled pile.  These diagrams can be useful supports for students with memory or processing difficulties. 

There are a variety of visuals to chose from.

Click to download this Bonds of 10 Part-Part-whole Desk Visual. It contains two different visuals:
This visual shows all the two-part bonds of 10.

This visual shows the more difficult to remember two-part bonds of 10.

Click to download this Bonds of 10 and Doubles Desk Visual. This version is smaller and can be taped to the back of a ruler for discrete use by students who are older or self-conscious about using visual supports. The bonds of 10 are dark blue to cater for student who are adverse the the chapter colour of pink. It are also contains the most difficult to remember double bonds.  

Click this link to read Teacher Notes for more ideas about “Using Part-Part-Whole Desk Visuals” to support students.


Apply bonds of 10 addition and subtraction to writing equations in the next activity. Go to

Activity 31

Bonds of 10: Equation, Building